South Carolina mom, boyfriend allegedly tortured kids, 5 and 7, with hot sauce and peppers

A South Carolina mother and her live-in boyfriend were arrested Wednesday, accused of subjecting the woman's children to “horrific” abuse with hot sauce and peppers, authorities said.

Sabrina Irene Emerick, 25, and her boyfriend Robert Earl Kailiala Saladaga, 37, had been abusing the children, ages 5 and 7, since at least September 2017, the Greenville Police Department said in a statement.

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“The horrific stories of abuse endured by these children are sickening and reprehensible,” Lt. Jason Rampey said. “As such, the children have been removed from this abusive environment for their safety and well-being.”

One child claimed Saladaga punished him for urinating on the couch in his sleep by rubbing a hot pepper on his genitals, causing a burn, the Greenville News reported. In another instance, Saladaga allegedly rubbed hot sauce all over a child’s face, eyes and mouth, which induced vomiting, police said.

“The horrific stories of abuse endured by these children are sickening and reprehensible.”

— Lt. Jason Rampey, Greenville Police Department

Saladaga's other alleged abuses include striking and kicking the children, shooting a child in the foot with a BB gun, and forcing them to take extremely hot and cold showers as punishment for misbehaving, the Greenville News reported. Both Emerick and her boyfriend were accused of holding a pillow over a child’s face, nearly suffocating him, on multiple occasions.

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The couple were charged with unlawful neglect of a child and two counts of cruelty to children (torture, deprivation). Saladaga was additionally charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

Saladaga and Emerick were released last Friday after posting $25,000 and $10,000 bonds, respectively.